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The wheat bZip transcription factor TaABF1 mediates both abscisic acid (ABA)-induced and ABA-suppressed gene expression. As levels of TaABF1 protein do not change in response to ABA, and TaABF1 is in a phosphorylated state in vivo, we investigated whether TaABF1 could be regulated at the post-translational level. In bombarded aleurone cells, a TaABF1 protein carrying phosphomimetic mutations (serine to aspartate) at four sites (S36D, S37D, S113D, S115D) was three to five times more potent than wild-type TaABF1 in activating HVA1, an ABA-responsive gene. The phosphomimetic mutations also increased the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate the ABA-suppressed gene Amy32b. These findings strongly suggest that phosphorylation at these sites increases the transcriptional regulatory activity of TaABF1. In contrast to the activation observed by the quadruple serine to aspartate mutation, a single S113D mutation completely eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to upregulate HVA1 or downregulate Amy32b. Thus phosphorylation of TaABF1 can either stimulate or inhibit the activity of TaABF1 in regulating downstream genes, depending on the site and pattern of phosphorylation. Mutation of S318 and S322 (in the bZIP domain) eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to activate HVA1, but had no effect on the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate Amy32b, suggesting that TaABF1 represses Amy32b expression through a mechanism other than direct DNA binding. An important step towards understanding how ABA and gibberellin (GA) signals are integrated through TaABF1 phosphorylation to regulate downstream gene expression is to clarify the effects of those hormones on the expression of specific genes. In contrast to some other ABA-induced genes, we found that HVA1 induction by ABA or TaABF1 is not inhibited by GA.
Donemark J.L. Calimon, Partner in Quisumbing Torres Law Offices and a member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Manila,
Jay Patrick R. Santiago, Senior associate in Quisumbing Torres Law Offices and a member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Manila, the Philippines.,
Grace Ann C. Lazaro, Associate in Quisumbing Torres Law Offices and a member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Manila, the Philippines.
In 2018, the Philippines is the fourth freest economy in Southeast Asia, the 13th among 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and the 61st in the world next to Spain. As of November 2017, the Philippine economy has grown over 6 percent for a ninth consecutive quarter. Indeed, the Philippines is emerging as one of this decade's economic stars with the World Bank predicting growth of more than 6 percent until 2019, underpinned by an ambitious infrastructure building programme and a young and growing population. With approximately 60 percent of the population within the age bracket of 15 – 64 years, a literacy rate of over 95 percent, and an English-speaking population, the Philippines has the manpower to fuel further economic growth.
In addition to manpower, the Philippines has a robust domestic and international legal investment regime that aims to ensure and promote investment development, growth and protection. This chapter tackles the legal protections available to a foreign investor in the Philippines, including (i) substantive protections under both domestic laws and investment treaties; and (ii) procedural protections under investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) remedies. The chapter will also deal with legal trends and future developments in the Philippines relating to foreign investments and ISDS.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL REGIMES
NATIONAL LEGAL REGIME
The Philippines encourages foreign investments as reflected in various laws, regulations and court decisions. As of January 2018, according to the Board of Investments (BOI), there are approximately 123 investment-related laws and 14 investment promotion agencies in the Philippines, e.g. the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and other special economic zones. The most important investment-related laws are described below.
Commonwealth Act No. 108: The Anti-Dummy Law (ADL)
The ADL provides that in all cases in which any constitutional or legal provision requires Philippine or any other specific citizenship as a requisite for the exercise or enjoyment of a right, franchise or privilege, any citizen of the Philippines or of any other specific country who allows his name or citizenship to be used for the purpose of evading such provision, and any alien or foreigner profiting thereby, shall be punished by imprisonment and/or by a fine.
A two-year (2015 and 2016) grazing study was established to compare ewe and lamb performance when grazed on a perennial ryegrass only sward compared to more diverse sward types. In that study four sward types were investigated: a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) only sward receiving 163 kg nitrogen per hectare per year (N/ha/yr) (PRG); a perennial ryegrass and white clover (Trifolium repens) sward receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (PRGWC); a six species sward (two grasses (perennial ryegrass and timothy (Phleum pratense)), two legumes (white and red clover (Trifolium pratense)) and two herbs (ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and chicory (Cichorium intybus)) receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (6S); and a nine species sward containing cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), greater birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in addition to the six species listed above, receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (9S). Each sward type was managed as a separate farmlet and stocked with 30 twin-rearing ewes at a stocking rate of 12.5 ewes/ha under rotational grazing management from turnout post-lambing until housing. Lamb live weight was recorded fortnightly and lambs were drafted for slaughter at 45 kg. Ewe live weight and body condition score (BCS) were recorded on five occasions annually. Lamb faecal egg count (FEC) was recorded fortnightly and lambs were treated with anthelmintics when mean lamb FEC per sward type was above 400 eggs per gram. Ewes grazing the 6S and 9S swards had heavier (P < 0.01) live weights and BCS throughout the study than the ewes grazing the PRG sward. Lambs grazing the 6S sward were heavier than lambs grazing all other sward types of 14 weeks old (P < 0.05). Lambs grazing the PRG sward required more days to reach slaughter weight than lambs grazing all other sward types (P < 0.001). Lambs grazing the 6S and 9S swards required fewer anthelmintic treatments than lambs grazing the PRG or PRGWC swards. In conclusion, grazing multispecies swards improved ewe and lamb performance and reduced the requirement for chemical anthelmintics.
We implemented a cross-sectional study in Tana River County, Kenya, a Rift Valley fever (RVF)-endemic area, to quantify the strength of association between RVF virus (RVFv) seroprevalences in livestock and humans, and their respective intra-cluster correlation coefficients (ICCs). The study involved 1932 livestock from 152 households and 552 humans from 170 households. Serum samples were collected and screened for anti-RVFv immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using inhibition IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data collected were analysed using generalised linear mixed effects models, with herd/household and village being fitted as random variables. The overall RVFv seroprevalences in livestock and humans were 25.41% (95% confidence interval (CI) 23.49–27.42%) and 21.20% (17.86–24.85%), respectively. The presence of at least one seropositive animal in a household was associated with an increased odds of exposure in people of 2.23 (95% CI 1.03–4.84). The ICCs associated with RVF virus seroprevalence in livestock were 0.30 (95% CI 0.19–0.44) and 0.22 (95% CI 0.12–0.38) within and between herds, respectively. These findings suggest that there is a greater variability of RVF virus exposure between than within herds. We discuss ways of using these ICC estimates in observational surveys for RVF in endemic areas and postulate that the design of the sentinel herd surveillance should consider patterns of RVF clustering to enhance its effectiveness as an early warning system for RVF epidemics.
Infection with STEC O157 is relatively rare but has potentially serious sequelae, particularly for children. Large outbreaks have prompted considerable efforts designed to reduce transmission primarily from food and direct animal contact. Despite these interventions, numbers of infections have remained constant for many years and the mechanisms leading to many sporadic infections remain unclear.
Here, we show that two-thirds of all cases reported in England between 2009 and 2015 were sporadic. Crude rates of infection differed geographically and were highest in rural areas during the summer months. Living in rural areas with high densities of cattle, sheep or pigs and those served by private water supplies were associated with increased risk. Living in an area of lower deprivation contributed to increased risk but this appeared to be associated with reported travel abroad. Fresh water coverage and residential proximity to the coast were not risk factors.
To reduce the overall burden of infection in England, interventions designed to reduce the number of sporadic infections with STEC should focus on the residents of rural areas with high densities of livestock and the effective management of non-municipal water supplies. The role of sheep as a reservoir and potential source of infection in humans should not be overlooked.
Accurate assessments of population sizes and trends are fundamental for effective species conservation, particularly for social and long-lived species in which low reproductive rates, aging demographic structure and Allee effects could interact to drive rapid population declines. In the parrots (Order Psittaciformes) these life history characteristics have combined with habitat loss and capture for the pet trade to lead to widespread endangerment, with over 40% of species classified under some level of threat. Here we report the results of a population survey of one such species, the Yellow-naped Amazon, Amazona auropalliata, that is classified as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. We conducted a comprehensive survey in June and July of 2016 of 44 night roosts of the populations in contiguous Pacific lowlands of northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua and compared numbers in Costa Rica to those found in a similar survey conducted in June 2005. In 2016 we counted 990 birds across 25 sites surveyed in Costa Rica and 692 birds across 19 sites surveyed in Nicaragua for a total population estimate of only 1,682 birds. Comparisons of 13 sites surveyed in both 2005 and 2016 in Costa Rica showed a strong and statistically significant decline in population numbers over the 11-year period. Assessment of group sizes approaching or leaving roosts indicated that less than 25% of groups consisted of three or more birds; there was a significantly higher proportion of these putative family groups observed in Nicaragua than Costa Rica. Taken together, these results are cause for substantial concern for the health of this species in a region that has previously been considered its stronghold, and suggest that stronger conservation action should be undertaken to protect remaining populations from capture for the pet trade and loss of key habitat.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and an increasingly common infection in children in both hospital and community settings. Between 20% and 30% of pediatric patients will have a recurrence of symptoms in the days to weeks following an initial infection. Multiple recurrences have been successfully treated with fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), though the body of evidence in pediatric patients is limited primarily to case reports and case series. The goal of our study was to better understand practices, success, and safety of FMT in children as well as identify risk factors associated with a failed FMT in our pediatric patients. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: This multicenter retrospective analysis included 373 patients who underwent FMT for CDI between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2017 from 18 pediatric centers. Demographics, baseline characteristics, FMT practices, C. difficile outcomes, and post-FMT complications were collected through chart abstraction. Successful FMT was defined as no recurrence of CDI within 60 days after FMT. Of the 373 patients in the cohort, 342 had known outcome data at two months post-FMT and were included in the primary analysis evaluating risk factors for recurrence post-FMT. An additional six patients who underwent FMT for refractory CDI were excluded from the primary analysis. Unadjusted analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Pearson χ2 test, or Fisher exact test where appropriate. Stepwise logistic regression was utilized to determine independent predictors of success. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The median age of included patients was 10 years (IQR; 3.0, 15.0) and 50% of patients were female. The majority of the cohort was White (89.0%). Comorbidities included 120 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 14 patients who had undergone a solid organ or stem cell transplantation. Of the 336 patients with known outcomes at two months, 272 (81%) had a successful outcome. In the 64 (19%) patients that did have a recurrence, 35 underwent repeat FMT which was successful in 20 of the 35 (57%). The overall success rate of FMT in preventing further episodes of CDI in the cohort with known outcome data was 87%. Unadjusted predictors of a primary FMT response are summarized. Based on stepwise logistic regression modeling, the use of fresh stool, FMT delivery via colonoscopy, the lack of a feeding tube, and a lower number of CDI episodes before undergoing FMT were independently associated with a successful outcome. There were 20 adverse events in the cohort assessed to be related to FMT, 6 of which were felt to be severe. There were no deaths assessed to be related to FMT in the cohort. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The overall success of FMT in pediatric patients with recurrent or severe CDI is 81% after a single FMT. Children without a feeding tube, who receive an early FMT, FMT with fresh stool, or FMT via colonoscopy are less likely to have a recurrence of CDI in the 2 months following FMT. This is the first large study of FMT for CDI in a pediatric cohort. These findings, if confirmed by additional prospective studies, will support alterations in the practice of FMT in children.
A clean hot-water drill was used to gain access to Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) in late January 2013 as part of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. Over 3 days, we deployed an array of scientific tools through the SLW borehole: a downhole camera, a conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) probe, a Niskin water sampler, an in situ filtration unit, three different sediment corers, a geothermal probe and a geophysical sensor string. Our observations confirm the existence of a subglacial water reservoir whose presence was previously inferred from satellite altimetry and surface geophysics. Subglacial water is about two orders of magnitude less saline than sea water (0.37–0.41 psu vs 35 psu) and two orders of magnitude more saline than pure drill meltwater (<0.002 psu). It reaches a minimum temperature of –0.55~C, consistent with depression of the freezing point by 7.019 MPa of water pressure. Subglacial water was turbid and remained turbid following filtration through 0.45 µm filters. The recovered sediment cores, which sampled down to 0.8 m below the lake bottom, contained a macroscopically structureless diamicton with shear strength between 2 and 6 kPa. Our main operational recommendation for future subglacial access through water-filled boreholes is to supply enough heat to the top of the borehole to keep it from freezing.
Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors, EDLC, using Cobalt sulfide- Graphene (CoSG) composite electrodes, were fabricated and the storage process was studied. CoSG composite was prepared by a simple chemical route. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Field Emission Scanning Electron microscopy (FESEM) were used to characterized the as prepared composites which indicated formation of Co S phase. Solutions of perfluorosulfonic acid and Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) were used as electrode binding material. The storage capacitance of the composites were studied in 1M KCl and 6M KOH electrolytes using standard electrochemical techniques like cyclic voltammetry, CV, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, EIS, and discharge profiles. The capacitance was estimated for various binder concentrations for both the electrolytes. The concentration of perflurosulfonic acid binder of 0.8 wt% and PVDF of 0.04 wt% showed optimized specific capacitances of 657.8 F/gm and 1418.8 F/g, respectively. Some of the problems in storage density in activated carbon, like varying micro or meso pores, poor ion mobility due to varying pore distribution, low electrical conductivity, can be overcome by using Graphene and composites of Graphene. Graphene in various structural nomenclatures have been used by different groups for charge storage. Optimization of the electrode structure in terms of blend percentage, binder content and interface character in the frequency and time domain provides insights to the double layer interface structure.
Certain passages in Overbeck are generally supposed to refer to a statue by Scopas of Apollo Smintheus, an aspect of the god to which classical students were probably introduced in Strabo's time as they are to-day by the old priest's prayer in the first book of the Iliad. It seems at first a not very serious suggestion that one at least of these passages reads as though the mouse alone, not the statue, were the work of Scopas. But further investigation indicates that the ambiguity is a little more than apparent, indeed real enough to have sheltered a few scholars in their endeavour to escape the difficulties and confusion of reconciling the usual interpretation of the Strabo passage with coin types of Alexandria Troas, and with what can be surmised of Scopas's style.
Unlike the mammalian retina, the teleost fish retina undergoes persistent neurogenesis from intrinsic stem cells. In marine teleosts, most cone photoreceptor genesis occurs early in the embryonic and larval stages, and rods are added primarily during and after metamorphosis. This study demonstrates a developmental paradigm in elopomorph fishes in which retinas are rod-dominated in larvae, but undergo periods of later cone genesis. Retinal characteristics were compared at different developmental stages among three ecologically distinct elopomorph fishes—ladyfish (Elops saurus), bonefish (Albula vulpes), and speckled worm eel (Myrophis punctatus). The objectives were to improve our understanding of (1) the developmental strategy in the elopomorph retina, (2) the functional architecture of the retina as it relates to ecology, and (3) how the light environment influences photoreceptor genesis. Photoreceptor morphologies, distributions, and spectral absorption were studied at larval, juvenile, and adult stages. Premetamorphic retinas in all three species are rod-dominated, but the retinas of these species undergo dramatic change over the course of development, resulting in juvenile and adult retinal characteristics that correlate closely with ecology. Adult E. saurus has high rod densities, grouped photoreceptors, a reflective tapetum, and longer-wavelength photopigments, supporting vision in turbid, low-light conditions. Adult A. vulpes has high cone densities, low rod densities, and shorter-wavelength photopigments, supporting diurnal vision in shallow, clear water. M. punctatus loses cones during metamorphosis, develops new cones after settlement, and maintains high rod but low cone densities, supporting primarily nocturnal vision. M. punctatus secondary cone genesis occurs rapidly throughout the retina, suggesting a novel mechanism of vertebrate photoreceptor genesis. Finally, in postsettlement M. punctatus, the continuous presence or absence of visible light modulates rod distribution but does not affect secondary cone genesis, suggesting some degree of developmental plasticity influenced by the light environment.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is characterized by perfectionism, need for control, and cognitive rigidity. Currently, little neuropsychological data exist on this condition, though emerging evidence does suggest that disorders marked by compulsivity, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), are associated with impairment in cognitive flexibility and executive planning on neurocognitive tasks.
The current study investigated the neurocognitive profile in a nonclinical community-based sample of people fulfilling diagnostic criteria for OCPD in the absence of major psychiatric comorbidity.
Twenty-one nonclinical subjects who fulfilled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for OCPD were compared with 15 healthy controls on selected clinical and neurocognitive tasks. OCPD was measured using the Compulsive Personality Assessment Scale (CPAS). Participants completed tests from the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery including tests of set shifting (Intra-Extra Dimensional [IED] Set Shifting) executive planning (Stockings of Cambridge [SOC]), and decision making (Cambridge Gamble Task [CGT]).
The OCPD group made significantly more IED-ED shift errors and total shift errors, and also showed longer mean initial thinking time on the SOC at moderate levels of difficulty. No differences emerged on the CGT.
Nonclinical cases of OCPD showed significant cognitive inflexibility coupled with executive planning deficits, whereas decision-making remained intact. This profile of impairment overlaps with that of OCD and implies that common neuropsychological changes affect individuals with these disorders.
To estimate and compare the impact on healthcare costs of 3 alternative strategies for reducing bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit (ICU): methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, targeted decolonization (ie, screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers or infections), and universal decolonization (ie, no screening and decolonization of all ICU patients).
Cost analysis using decision modeling.
We developed a decision-analysis model to estimate the health care costs of targeted decolonization and universal decolonization strategies compared with a strategy of MRSA nares screening and isolation. Effectiveness estimates were derived from a recent randomized trial of the 3 strategies, and cost estimates were derived from the literature.
In the base case, universal decolonization was the dominant strategy and was estimated to have both lower intervention costs and lower total ICU costs than either screening and isolation or targeted decolonization. Compared with screening and isolation, universal decolonization was estimated to save $171,000 and prevent 9 additional bloodstream infections for every 1,000 ICU admissions. The dominance of universal decolonization persisted under a wide range of cost and effectiveness assumptions.
A strategy of universal decolonization for patients admitted to the ICU would both reduce bloodstream infections and likely reduce healthcare costs compared with strategies of MRSA nares screening and isolation or screening and isolation coupled with targeted decolonization.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and other ventilator-associated events (VAEs) and to improve outcomes for mechanically ventilated adults, children, and neonates. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and other ventilator-associated events (VAEs) and to improve outcomes for mechanically ventilated adults, children, and neonates. This document updates "Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals," published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.